What leads Mrs. Hale to wish she had visited the house more often?
More than anything else, Mrs. Hale is motivated by guilt. She's always regretted not having reached out to her neighbor, Minnie Foster, by visiting her more often. As Mrs. Hale takes a good look around the Wrights' scruffy residence and sees the kind of shabby clothing worn by Mrs. Wright, she feels ashamed of herself for not having visited Minnie, thereby at least providing her with a crumb of comfort in her difficult day-to-day existence.
As Mrs. Hale reflects on Minnie Foster's life at the farm, her sense of guilt only increases. Once upon a time, Minnie was a bubbly, outgoing young lady who sang in the church choir. But living on a lonely, isolated farm without any children to keep her company turned her into a completely different woman. And Mrs. Hale feels somehow responsible for Minnie's sad decline. Perhaps if she'd kept in touch more often, recent events at the farm may not have taken place. But like so many others, Mrs. Hale was put off visiting such a cold, inhospitable place.
Nevertheless, Mrs. Hale feels the need to make amends for not visiting Minnie more often when, along with Mrs. Peters, she hides evidence of the dead canary and broken bird cage, which led to Minnie snapping and killing her husband, John.
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